Aug 30, 2014

Trailer Park Boys: Gay Characters in the Hood

Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian pop culture sensation.  It started as a movie (1999), then spun off into an immensely popular sitcom (2001-2014), three more movies (2006, 2009, 2014), and a live stage show.  The characters have appeared as themselves in other series and on stage.  There is a vast array of tie-in products, including music cds, clothing, and books.

It's a mockumentary set in run-down trailer park in Nova Scotia, starring petty crooks, drunks, and various eccentrics.

1. The "moral center," if there is one, is Julian (John Paul Tremblay), an ex-con who wants to "go straight," by which he means selling so much marijuana or stolen merchandise that he can retire.  He always has a drink in his hand.

2. Ricky (Robb Wells, right), a dimwit with an Elvis Presley hairstyle, lives in Julian's car.  He is known for his ridiculously wild schemes and odd moral sense.  He disapproves of his daughter stealing: "That's my job."

3. Bubbles (Mike Smith), who has a hoarse, wheezing voice, lives in a shed, and collects stray cats.  

4.-5. Jim Lahey (John Dunsworth), a disgraced former cop who now works as the trailer park manager, and is constantly trying to evict Julian and Ricky.  When he's not immersed in a role-playing game with his boyfriend, Randy (Patrick Roach), a former hustler who never wears a shirt, even though he has rather a portly physique.

6.-7. J-Roc (Jonathan Torrens), a wannabe rapper who thinks that he's black and ends every sentence with "you know what I'm sayin'?" In later seasons, he and his partner T (Tyrone Parsons) raise two children together.

Jonathan Torrens starred in the gay-themed Beefcake in 1998.

8.-9. Cory (Cory Bowles), a muscular young hood, and his partner Trevor (Michael Jackson), sometimes work for Ricky. They display an interest in girls, but they are also portrayed as a gay-subtext couple, and they occasionally engage in same-sex acts as part of one of Ricky's wild schemes.

As you can see, there is quite a lot of gay content in the series, including characters who are gay and bisexual without fanfare.  Although Bubbles' favorite expletive is a gay slur, he displays no other homophobic bias.

And there's significant beefcake. Shirtless and underwear scenes are common, and several of the actors have impressive physiques.

See also: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia; and Corner Gas.

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